When in need of life-saving medical treatments, patients in Tennessee and all over the U.S. look to drug makers to provide safe and effective healthcare products. However, a recent recall of two IV solutions produced by Baxter International illustrate the dangers defective drugs can pose to patients.
Fortune reports on the contaminated IV solutions, which were subject to a voluntary recall by the manufacturer after a medical worker found what appeared to be insect matter in a solution as it was being prepared. As a result, approximately 284,000 units (equaling two lots) of 0.9 percent sodium chloride and 70 percent dextrose injections were recalled. While Baxter International claims that no adverse events have been reported, contaminated IV solutions have the potential to cause devastating health complications.
Possible effects of injecting a solution containing particulates can be exceedingly severe. In some cases, patients may experience allergic reactions, as well as the inflammation of internal tissues and organs. Sizable particulates can also block blood vessels, thereby causing serious medical conditions like strokes and organ damage. These effects are particularly dangerous when solutions are administered without the use of in-line filtration systems, which can prevent foreign matter from entering the body.
In addition to the voluntary recall launched by Baxter International, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a safety alert regarding the contaminated IV solutions in 2016. The alert instructed medical officials on which lots were affected, and offered recommendations on how to proceed. The FDA instructed that lots potentially containing particulate matter should not be used on patients and instead should be returned to the manufacturer.